Inaugural Bourbon and Jazz festival kicks off in Owensboro

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - Organizers say the first event at Owensboro's inaugural Bourbon Festival was a huge success. After all it sold out.

Experts say bourbon is on the rise in the alcohol industry. It's certainly making a comeback in Owensboro.

Friday night was the bourbon festival kickoff, a VIP tasting next to the Riverpark Center.

"I love bourbon. I love makers mark. That's my stand by," said festival goer Laine Nunn.

"The Riverpark's been so nice, they actually expanded their bourbon selection for us. We've actually chosen ten other bourbons that they don't usually sell. Bourbon can be made anywhere in the us but 95% of bourbon is made in this state and this because of the water source, the corn and the weather," said festival organizer Vince Carida.

Recently, Owensboro was asked to be apart of bourbon country.

"It's a great marketing tool that we can use. We'll be able to partner with all of those larger cities and jump on the band wagon about bourbon so it gives people opportunities to come to western Kentucky. Lots of places downtown have jumped on board. Different businesses are having events," said Karen Miller with the CVB.

Festival goers say the bourbon festival is great for Owensboro.

"I think it's something Owensboro needs to see more of. It'll draw in more people into the area and get more tourism going," said Nunn.

"You want to be able to bring everybody into downtown to know downtown is the place to be," said Valarie Holcomb.

Saturday, the festival continues with bourbon cocktail contests and tastings.

"Ticket sales have been very strong for all the events. I'm expecting about 300 people," Carida told 14 News.

For more information, including ticket prices, you can go to their website.

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